New Book Examines the Purple Yoda’s Abandonment Struggle

Go Booklets
3 min readApr 13, 2018

Tackling Prince’s mommy and daddy issues was difficult, but so was creating a book worthy of the icon’s remarkable legacy

A rare and intimate photo of Prince from 1977 (credit to his manager Owen Husney).

Prince’s talent was immense. He was larger than life. For BlueCloudz, my look into the artist’s early years, the focus is surprisingly narrow.

An Intimate Portrait

Be a fly on the wall as Prince’s circle forms.

You’ll watch as his parents fail to support their child, which leads to uneven development. On one hand, it’s sad. On another level, it’s remarkable that he forges his own path despite the setbacks.

I’ll refer to players by first or last names (though I do provide full names in a closing index). Prince’s friends and colleagues are simply Morris, Pepé, and André. His business associates are more distanced: Cavallo, Bloom, and Blinn.

Witness his rise toward stardom, including the cat-and-mouse games with record labels, the loss of privacy, the celebrity hangs, the newfound affection from girls and boys, the pressure to sell, and more.

At each turn, I resist passing judgment and tying off loose ends. I keep it real.

I pause on the small moments — like the first time Prince wears paisleys, and what his teacher tells him they represent, and how this resonates with the artist for the rest of his life. My book is not a journalist’s work. I don’t stay too long in a moment or look to create a perfect timeline. I share pivotal scenes.

“Keeping it real” is telling the whole story. My book isn’t a fluff piece. BlueCloudz doesn’t worship its subject. The artist is portrayed for his mistakes as well as his successes. I deal with the difficult topics. You’ll explore abandonment issues, how he leaves home as a pre-teen, his struggle to develop bonds, and the dirty deeds.

You’ll also watch as he gets lucky (despite his trying personality) and gains his first champion. There are tender moments with his sister Tyka and his peer Sheila Escovedo. You’ll experience his genuine bond with bandmate Dez Dickerson.

An Uncommon Product

Prince famously insisted upon performing every instrument on his debut record, For You (and subsequent efforts). He became the youngest artist to produce a record for Warner Bros. It’s the first of many instances when the artist breaks ground.

He submits what sounds like a demo to Warner Bros. in 1980. They don’t want to release it. Dirty Mind becomes Prince’s first critically-acclaimed album. He runs guitar effects though an early drum machine. It forms the foundation of his trademark sound. He removes the bass line from “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss.” Again, his label flinches. Both songs reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stand as the biggest hits of Prince’s career. He interrupts another top 10 hit, “Pop Life,” to play an audience clip (“Throw the bum out!”) courtesy of an unruly concert goer.

The ebook is unique. There are over 200 short sketches, organized chronologically. Each is 400–450 characters, or just three times a tweet’s length.

It’s a breeze to read on the Kindle or iBooks app — even on the small screen of a smartphone. Because of the short bursts, some readers will finish the book in an afternoon. Its brevity won’t diminish how rich and riveting it is.

I include a two-page resume that showcases Prince’s remarkable career milestones and skills. I also place Prince’s lyrics into inspirational context. You’ll find yourself listening to his music with renewed interest.

Lastly, BlueCloudz is the Rosetta Stone for decoding Purple Rain. My book unlocks the backstory that then plays out on the silver screen. When they meet to discuss the project, Albert Magnoli insists that the artist “dig deep” into his past or he won’t direct it. Prince obliges. My book ends with Prince’s announcement to his band that they’ll film the motion picture.

All in all, this book is unlike any in the Prince library. I look forward to reading the purple reviews.


Download BlueCloudz, Eric S. Townsend’s 23rd book, for just $7.77. For those waiting for the signed paperback, that release date is set for June 7 (Prince’s 60th birthday). When you spring for the ebook now, the publisher Go Booklets will assign a credit of $7.77 toward your paperback purchase.